Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Today is my first time participating in The Gallery which is hosted over at Sticky Fingers. It's all about photography. Each week she gives a prompt as inspiration.

I am in no way a photographer, but I travel quite a bit and have been known to take a snap or two when I see something amazing. So in an effort to fill this blog with something a bit more light hearted, I am going to join this week.

The prompt.... Green.

I immediately thought of Ireland. So here's a shot I took a few years ago on a trip there. It's the view from the top of the Blarney Castle.

Oh, and in case you're wondering. Yes, I did kiss the Blarney Stone while I was there.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The One Where I Poke Myself With a Needle

*I'm going with the "Friends" style blog title again. Not sure how many of these I will do but hopefully I will stop before it becomes too annoying.

I am officially in my Mock Cycle!

*Insert cheers and applause here* 

As a confirmed needle-phobe (if that's even a word) I was not looking forward to this day. Well I was, but not about the needle part. As I may have mentioned before, the option of having my husband do the injections for me is a no go!

There are three reasons for this.
  1. He has a crazy work travel schedule. He's often gone 2-3 days a week. In fact, a week where he's home all 7 days is a rarity. He doesn't always know ahead of time when he will have to travel so it's impossible to plan injections around his schedule. So I would have to do some of them myself anyway.
  2. He is also a needle-phobe and a big scaredy cat! When the nurse brought in all the needles and stuff to demonstrate how to do the injections I thought he was going to pass out. The look on his face was one of horror and fear. There's no way I'm letting that guy anywhere near me with a syringe. So if I have to do some of them, I would rather just do all of them.
  3. The needle for self injections is smaller. If the hubby does them they would be in my hip with a 1.5 inch needle. If I do them myself they go in my thigh with a 1 inch needle. I know it's only a half an inch, but shorter needles are always better I say.
So after a quick call to my nurse to make sure it was time to start I began the process of psyching myself up for the first injection.
Here is a photo of my prep kit. 
As you can see it contains all the essentials a girl would need before jabbing herself.
  • Medication
  • Syringe
  • Needle
  • Cotton Ball
  • My son's candle- for moral support.
  • Wine- do I really need to explain? Only a few sips allowed before and the rest after.
  • My handbag, Michael Kors- not supposed to be in the shot but I was nervous and forgot to move it, but maybe it helped too?
Once I got all my kit assembled I was ready to go. The hubby wanted to know how he could help. I told him to stay out of the room and don't watch me. I know, I'm such a loving wife! : )

I carefully attached the needle used for drawing the meds into the syringe. Success! 
Then I switched to the injection needle (don't want a dull needle). Success! 

Then the hard part. 
Sip of wine for courage. 

Ready,,,,,, wait, stop. 
"Have you done it yet?" comes a voice from the other room. "No," I say. 
Sip of wine for courage. 

Ready,,,,,, wait, stop. 
"Have you done it yet?" comes a voice from the other room. "No," I say.  
Sip of wine for courage. 

Ready,,,,,, wait, stop. 
"Have you done it yet?" comes a voice from the other room. "No," I say.  
Sip of wine for courage.

This goes on for about 20 minutes until I finally yell at the hubby to shut up and stop asking me how I'm doing.

Getting my nerve, losing my nerve. 

Another sip of wine. 

A few deep breaths. 

Ready,,,,,, go! 

It didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. Meds injected. Bandaid (plaster for you Brits) on. Photos taken for my blog (which the hubby thinks is hilarious).
Here's the proof. 
*Please ignore my pastey white leg with all the freckles on it. It's a good thing I blog anonymously or I would never have the balls to post a photo of my marshmallow thigh on this site.

I did it!! I'm so proud of myself. I have to do it again in a few days but now that I know it doesn't hurt that bad it won't be nearly as scary. 

Just the first step of Mission, Take Home Baby!

Monday, 25 April 2011


Easter snuck up on me this year. I didn't realize that it would hit me so hard. It's never really been a big holiday for the hubby and I.

I usually do a ham and buy us some chocolate, but that's about it. We don't even go to church anymore because we don't go the rest of the year and it feels slightly hypocritical to go on Easter and Christmas but not the rest of the year. So it's normally just a nice Sunday with a special dinner and phone and skype calls to the family back home.

In retrospect I should have expected the tears.

Easter is so much more of a kids holiday than I realized. Getting the outfit, the Easter basket, the Easter egg hunts, dying eggs the day before; all of these things are done when you have kids.

As I saw my real life friends happily posting photos of egg dying sessions and videos of egg hunts it hit me.

I am missing out on all of this.

Not that an 8 month old can dye eggs, but he would definitely have been old enough to dress in a cute outfit. Perhaps he would  have been crawling around the floor grabbing Easter eggs (well the plastic ones, not the real ones). There would have been the photos of him with the Easter bunny in his cute outfit. I would have sent them via email and facebook to all my friends and family back home.

Except that he isn't here.

That's what really set me off I guess. The things I was missing out on. That I will always miss out on.

The boy that will never be.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Countdown to My Mock Cycle

So according to the app on my phone (see how up I am on the latest technology, and yes they have an app to track your periods and ovulation dates), I've only got a few more days until my next period. Which means in a few short days I will be starting my mock cycle.

And we all know what that means.......

That's right boys and girls. Mock cycle means I have to start injecting myself with these lovely syringes and super long needles. Yay! (note sarcasm)

I've sent a frantic email to my nurse coordinator just to make sure I've got the timeline right in my head. First jab is on day 2 or 3 of my cycle. I have to inject myself every 3 days and then have a scan at some point to see how my lining is. I'm unsure about when the scan is, hence the frantic email to the nurse. If my lining is good then the test is over and I have to take some pills for 5 days and then I'm done.

If all that goes well then I will be given live access to the donor database and I can start looking for my egg donor!!

Well actually, I've still got a bunch of blood tests to do and a counselling session to complete. But I'm assuming that I will have all that done in the next month.

But in my head this is all becoming very real.

And very exciting.

And very scary,,,, especially the needle part.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I'm on Facebook

Well I hope I am. If I did it right.

I've set up a facebook page. It was a bit more complicated than I thought it would be and I'm still not sure I've got everything right. I can't seem to get my page to "like" other pages but perhaps it's just a temporary glitch.

So here's a link if you want to check me out and "like" me.

I think I've set it up so my blog posts go there too. So in a way, this post is also to test out if I did that part right.

Twitter was so much easier than this!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My Mother In Law

Warning, this is a rant. I have not taken the time to breathe or relax before sharing this info. The hubby is out of town and it's after 10 here in London so too late to call up a friend. So you, my internet friends will be the first to hear my rant.

I just got off the phone with my mother in law (who manages to always call when the hubby is away). I should start off by giving a bit of background to our relationship. She is not a particularly warm and fuzzy lady. It's just not her way. She tends to say what's on her mind without thinking about how her words may affect others. She's like this with everyone, not just with me.

It's fair to say that over the years she has said many things that have hurt my feelings. I'm not sure she means to be so hurtful, but she just doesn't get it sometimes. The hubby is quite aware of this fact and always does his best to give me hugs and reassurance. She is who she is, and she's in her 70's and isn't likely to change.

So really I shouldn't be surprised that she has an opinion about the fact that we are trying for another baby. Really, because when the hubby told her a few months ago her response was, "Oh, No!"

Tonight she asked me how things were going. I did my best to bring her up to speed without confusing her with all the medical lingo. She listened and then said, "Wouldn't it be easier to adopt?" So I had to explain that as expats we can't adopt a British child and went into how complicated it would be to adopt either a US or international child. I didn't get into the fact that we aren't ready to consider adoption yet. That we want to try and have our own baby. That we hate it when people think we should just give up on our dreams because of the false notion that adoption is so much easier and cheaper.

She tells me, "Well if this doesn't work then you should just call the whole thing off. You're not getting any younger you know." Then she goes on to tell me about how nature intended for us to have babies when we are young and healthy. That when we get old our nerves can't handle raising kids.

At this point I am crying but trying not to let her hear it. I have a million responses running around my head but somehow managed not to say any of them. I just listened and said things like, "I see."

Then she asked how my parents feel about the whole thing. I told her that they are very supportive and that they really want a grandchild.

To which she said, "Don't they already have one?? Doesn't your sister have a little girl?"

At this point my head is spinning and the tears are really flowing. "Did she really just say that to me," I ask myself?? Is she really suggesting to me that my parents shouldn't be excited about having a grandchild by us because they already have one by my sister?

I wanted to scream to her that my parents just want me to have a baby that I can take home. They want a grandchild that they can actually see, and hold, and play with. Not just one that they can pray to at night. Does she really not get it?

Not once during this whole conversation did she ask how the hubby and I are coping without our son.

Instead she shares this gem with me. "Maybe this is nature's way of telling you something."

Really??? Like what? That we aren't fit to be parents? That some woman who is addicted to crack and has had 4 children born addicted to drugs is more equipped to raise a child than us? That some irresponsible girl who gets pregnant and doesn't know who the father is more worthy to have a baby than we are? What exactly is nature trying to tell me???

I would love to be able to say that I ripped her a new one and told her where to shove her opinions. But as always, I simply smiled and just took it. I asked about how she is doing and how my father in law is doing and about their upcoming vacations. I was the good, loving daughter in law.

But inside I am fuming!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The London Marathon

Today was the London Marathon. I volunteered to help cheer on the team running for Great Ormond Street Hospital. For those of you who don't already know, Great Ormond Street is an amazing children's hospital here in London. So when I found out they needed people to help cheer their runners, I jumped at the chance.

They gave us these bright purple T-Shirts to wear. Normally I wouldn't be caught dead in a bright purple T-Shirt, but for today I made an exception.

We got these purple inflatable noisemakers to help cheer the runners on. They were actually a lot louder than they look.

Every time we saw a runner wearing these tops we cheered like crazy!

It was an amazing day. We cheered for wheelchair racers, racers with prosthetic limbs, and even racers wearing some crazy costumes.

Oh, and we also cheered for my friends husband who was running for a different charity. 

I felt inspired! But not inspired enough to run a marathon,,,,, I'm not that crazy!

This post is my way of participating in Natasha's Happy List Saturdays even though I'm a day late.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The One Where I'm Being Childish And I Don't Care.

You know how on the show Friends, each episode was named "The one where......... ?" Well this post is being written Friend's style. If I like this new style of titling posts I may keep it for a while.

So here's the one where I'm being completely childish and I don't care.

I have a group of friends who I have met since living here in the UK. We are part of an alumni group for the sorority I was in back in college. We didn't all go to the same university, nor are we the same age. But we all joined the same sorority in our day and have all moved somewhere in Europe. So we get together from time to time to catch up. It's an amazing group of women of all ages and backgrounds. I really enjoy our time together and usually look forward to our get togethers.


But not this time.

Every spring we have a London theatre event. We pick a matinee show with a happy theme. We do lunch before and drinks afterwards. It's a really good time. Usually.

Last year there were two of us who were pregnant. I was due in September and "Jill" was due in October. So before the show we had a lunch that doubled as a baby shower. There were games, and presents, and cake. Pictures were taken showing us proudly displaying our baby bumps while holding some of our gifts. We both joked about how our babies loved the show and kicked the whole way through. It was a lovely day.

This year's plans are in the process of being made. The show is Shrek the Musical. But there is one big change. Instead of doing lunch at a restaurant, it will be at "Jill's" house. You see, "Jill" lives very close to the theatre and decided it would be fun for everyone to get together at her place. That way we can chat more and also save a bit of money.

I have two problems with this.
  1. Last year we did a baby shower as a part of this weekend so inevitably I will have some flashbacks about it. This will make the day difficult for me.
  2. If the lunch is going to be at "Jill's" house then there is a 100% chance that "Jill's" son will be there. A baby that I have not been able to even imagine myself meeting. This baby was going to be friends with my son. He is a living breathing reminder of what I don't have.
Here's where the childish bit comes in. I am not going to be attending this year's event.

Because I don't want to have to struggle through a reminder of what last year was and what this year isn't. Because I can't bear to sit in a house and watch everyone fawn all over "Jill's" cute baby. Because I can't bear to listen to all the questions about how he's doing, and what he's eating, and if he's sleeping. Because I think if I have to see "Jill" lovingly hold her baby and share him with the world, I may jump out of a window. 

Because I don't want to.

But I'm not brave enough to tell them I'm not coming yet. So I said maybe and now I am dodging phone calls trying to confirm my attendance.

See,,, I told you I'm being childish.

And I don't care!

I don't care if they get mad that I'm not responding. I don't care if "Jill" gets her feelings hurt and thinks I'm not coming because of her. I don't care if everyone figures out that I'm hiding from babies and reminders of babies.

I'm not going and you can't make me!

See,,, I told you I'm being childish.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Morning After The Night Before

First of all I want to thank all of you for your lovely and supportive comments to my last post where I talked about my regrets about not being able to hold my son after he was born.
 *If you are visiting from Pour Your Heart Out , welcome. I have chosen to share this post instead of the post that inspired it because of the subject matter. The post that inspired this one is truly me pouring my heart out, but I was worried that those of you who have not lost children may find it too upsetting. My goal is never to shock people or make anyone feel uncomfortable with my words. 

I have read each and every one of them over and over and am still amazed at the support I have received. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be so comforted by the words of people who I have never met I would tell them they were crazy. Now I know better. I am thankful to be a part of this amazing group of women. This sorority of baby loss moms. Not thankful that we have lost our children of course, but thankful that we have somehow managed to find each other through all our pain.

I woke up the morning after writing that post with a very strange sense. I had a hangover. Not from alcohol, but from crying. It was an emotional hang over. I stayed in bed for a while after I woke up, a bunch of questions swirling around in my brain.

Have I really been feeling this way the whole time? How is it possible that I didn't know I felt that way? Where on earth did all that come from?

You see, up until a few hours before I shared my feelings here, I had no idea I had them. Seriously! I had never given it much thought. I was sitting on my couch watching TV (a program that had nothing to do with babies or children) when BAM! It hit me out of nowhere.

It was the strangest thing. All these thoughts came flooding into my head. Flashbacks of his birth, regret, sadness, shame. It came on so quickly that at first I didn't even know what was happening. Then the tears started, the sobbing, the shaking, my body curling up in the fetal position.

It was as if someone or something had taken over my body. Something had released a valve or opened a tap and these feelings were just flooding out of me. I had hidden them well, even from myself. It's a special skill I possess.

So yesterday I did some things just for me. My husband is out of town for a few days on business so I can do whatever I like, and I did. Throughout the day I kept getting your lovely comments via email. Each one did a little bit more to lift my spirits. By the end of the day I was feeling much lighter.

Today I feel even better. I am relieved to have these feelings out in the open. Not just open to all of you, but open to me. I am still amazed that I was holding all these feelings in such a deep place that I wasn't even aware they existed. Now that they are out, I can deal with them. I can talk to my husband about them. I can find a constructive way to work through them. Perhaps a way that doesn't involve stuffing my face with cookies.

I can deal with them before we start this new journey of trying for another baby. The less baggage I can carry with me, the easier it will be. The healthier I can be both mentally and physically, the better the chances for a healthy pregnancy and a living, take-home baby. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Why Couldn't I Have Held Him?

I share a lot in this space. The good, the bad, and the ugly. No holds barred. It's the main reason I don't reveal myself here, so that I can be totally honest.

But this is something that I am not sure I should share. In fact, I may type the whole thing and then not publish it (if I do publish it then I apologize in advance because I'm sure my thoughts will be all over the place).

Why? Because I'm not sure you will ever think of me the same way after reading it. Not that any of you know me in real life (well except for 2 of you, 1 being my husband). But I fear that those of you who have gotten to know the "virtual me" will never see me in the same light.

You see, I am not like the rest of you.

I know this because I have read many of your stories on your blogs. I know what is "normal" for a grieving mother. I know what most other Baby Loss Mom's have done when their babies were born still. I have read how you held them, and kissed them, and told them you loved them. I have seen the photos of you holding your babies even after they were gone. I see the love and sadness in your eyes as you treasured this final embrace.

I know exactly how you were all feeling in those moments. I felt that way too. But there is one huge difference between your birth stories and mine.

I was unable to hold my son after he died. And for that I am ashamed.

Not because the doctors wouldn't let me, but because I just couldn't. Mentally, I was not in a place where I could even comprehend holding a dead baby. No matter that he was my dead baby. No matter that he was my firstborn son who I loved more than anything. I just couldn't do it.

They tried to talk me into it at the hospital. But each time the brought it up I went into a panic. I kept screaming, "No, No, No!" There were no other words that came out of my mouth. Just those words and a flood of tears. Each time they would back off as they could clearly see that I was on the verge of a total breakdown.

After several days, I was mentally able to see him. The midwives set everything up in a special room. They dressed him in the outfit my husband had picked out. I wasn't even able to pick out his own outfit at that point. When I finally saw him I almost collapsed with sadness. If it weren't for the wall that I propped myself up against I would have ended up in a heap on the floor. He was absolutely beautiful. But still I couldn't bring myself to hold him. I did touch his face, but it was cold from the refrigeration. That one touch would be the only contact I would ever have with my beloved son.

Tonight I was hit with a tsumani of regret.

Why couldn't I hold my son after he was born? Why was I so hysterical right before his birth that I had to be sedated? Why couldn't I just hold it together? I am normally such a strong person, why couldn't I handle this better? Why did I continue to act with such hysteria after his birth that I was unable to hold him and tell him how much I loved him?


Logically I know that we do the best we can in times like these. That we do what we are capable of. But in my heart I regret not having the strength to see past my fears of what a dead baby would look like. He was my only son after all. And now I am starting to feel like I have somehow rejected him. Even though I know that he had already left his earthly body before he was born, I still somehow feel like I have failed as a Mother.

Why couldn't I have held him???

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Happy List

Once again I'm participating in Natasha's Happy List Saturdays. I've taken a few weeks off because sometimes it's hard to come up with happy things. But not this week. So here goes.

1. My bag-o-meds. I'm not at all happy about having to inject myself (I haven't gone totally crazy). But I'm happy that we have a plan. This bag represents a path forward, hope, and optimism. I do wish that our plan didn't involve needles, but hey,,,, I've been through much worse.

2. Clear tubes. I can't believe I'm posting this photo a second time. But they mean we can move forward with our egg donation + IVF cycle. And that's a good thing.

3. Sunny days. Please note that this photo was taken on a holiday to Dubai last year,,, this is not London. But a sunny day in London makes me feel like I'm on holiday. And holidays make me happy.

4. Wine with friends. Such a nice way to spend an evening. And some macaroons if you've got them. Again, this photo was taken on a weekend away in France. I think the fact that I'm digging out old holiday photos means I need to plan another one soon.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Me vs My Tears

I have been fighting a battle lately with my tears.
They seem to want to leak out at the strangest of moments.

I am tired of battling with my tears.
Surely they must be bored by now.
Filling up my eyes.
Running down my cheeks.
Being wiped away by my hands or a tissue.

Always at inconvenient times.

Don't they have better things to do?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 

The lovely ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are having a huge blog party and I have decided to join in the fun. If you want to join in as well, click on the button above for all the info. If you are new to my blog, welcome.

Here is a little bit of info about me and my blog.

I am an American expat living in London. My husband and I have lived here for over 5 years now and really enjoy it.

I am Mommy to an angel in heaven. My son was stillborn at 36 weeks in August of 2010. I started this blog to try and work through my grief and find my way back from the brink of despair. My goal is to figure out how to live my life without him. Things will never be the way they used to be. So I am looking to find my new normal.

Before our loss we struggled with infertility so this blow was especially hard. It felt like we almost made it to our new lives and then someone just pulled the rug out from under us.

We are now in the process of trying for another baby. This time, due to my age and some genetic issues we are going forward using an egg donor. The world of egg donation is completely new to me. So I have been writing a lot about this new journey.

This blog has been such a refuge for me. It's where I can share my feelings in a way that I am unable to do in real life. I don't hold anything back. Much of what I share here is raw, uncensored, and painful to read. Believe me, it's painful to write as well. This is not a bright, shiny, happy blog much of the time. But it's me, all of me. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

For this reason, I don't reveal myself here. Somehow I feel safer blogging anonymously.

If I haven't scared you off yet then I hope you spend some time getting to know more about me and my journey.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

All Clear!

Today was my HSG test (to check my tubes). Overall it wasn't as bad as I remembered. Maybe the one I had 10 years ago hurt more? Or maybe I was just a big infertility rookie and didn't know any better. Either way, it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, which was good since I forgot to take any ibuprofen before leaving the house.

My tubes are all clear which is great news because it means we can move forward with the mock cycle next month. There they are, aren't they pretty?? I'm not really sure what I'm looking at either, but the doctor seemed happy so that makes me happy.

I was able to (ahem) administer the suppository without any major issues. Although part of this may be because I was trying to hurry up and do it before my house cleaners arrived. The only thing worse than having to stick an antibiotic where the sun doesn't shine would be to have my Romanian house cleaners walk in on me while doing it. So in my panic to not be "caught" I forgot all about being horrified at the task in hand and just got on with it.

It was a good strategy because it kept me from spending a lot of time worrying about it and wondering if it would hurt. Which by the way, it didn't.

I ended up getting to the clinic early and though I would have to wait. But lucky for me they were able to see me early. The whole thing was over and done with in less than 10 minutes. The only yucky bit is that I have to wear a pad for the rest of the day in case there is any spotting. I hate pads! They crunch when I walk and I always feel like I'm wearing a diaper.

I am pretty wiped out now. I'm not sure if it's due to the huge dosage of antibiotics I had to take today or just the stress and anticipation of it all.

Phew, I'm glad that bit is over with.

Monday, 4 April 2011

What? What? In the Butt!

*Title of this post comes from a very silly song. I saw the music video on you-tube once and it make me laugh. Now I not laughing so much.

I swear, when you begin fertility treatments there really is no more dignity.

Once I got married I figured that no other man would have the chance to gaze upon my lovely lady bits. Little did I know that when you can't get pregnant the old fashioned way, your entire body is fair game. I have lost count of the amount of times I've had to strip from the waist down and be poked and prodded,,, and never in a good way.

I get it, I really do. The part that isn't working right is down there so they have to look around if you want them to help you. It's just that sometimes I miss being that shy modest girl of years past. The one who was too embarrassed to get a bikini wax. Nowadays I have no problem stripping down for these kinds of things, even when heavily pregnant. So many people have already see it I figure what's one more?

But through all of the treatments, and the tests, and my pregnancy, and my son dying, and my emergency c-section, I had one small part of me that remained untouched. It wasn't much, but I treasured it because it was the only thing I had left.

As of tomorrow, the last barrier will broken.

I have to have and HSG, which for those of you not up with all the current medical abbreviations means getting my tubes checked. I had this done about 10 years ago when I first had trouble getting pregnant. Basically they shoot dye into your tubes and watch to make sure they are not blocked and don't have any leaks. My doctor wants me to have this done before we start the donor egg IVF cycle. He says that if my tubes were damaged in any way by my c-section then it could cause problems in future pregnancies. This procedure is quite painful and I am not looking forward to it. But I want a baby more than anything so I will do it.

The clinic here in London sends me a packet of info regarding the procedure. In this packet is a prescription for antibiotics. There is always a slight chance of infection when they put tubes up past your cervix so this is a precautionary measure. No problem! I take the slip to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled. Imagine my shock when I go back to pick up the medications. In addition to the oral antibiotics there is also one in suppository form.

What what???? I have to stick it up my butt???

High into the rectum according to the directions. Oh, and I am supposed to avoid alcohol while taking this. Seriously??? If I've gotta stick something high into my rectum I think I may need a drink first!


Did you hear that? That's the walls protecting the last of my dignity being knocked down.

Ugh! I am so not looking forward to tomorrow.

Oh, and if any of you want a good laugh, here's the video of the song that inspired the title to this post. It's very silly and camp, but if you're at work you may want to wait until you get home before you watch it.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

UK Mother's Day

It's mother's day here in the UK.

I'm trying not to be sad. 

I'm trying not to think about it too much. 

We will see how that goes. 

I think this one will be easier to ignore since it's not the mother's day I grew up with. The US one in May will be much harder for me. 

I just wish I didn't have two mother's days to get through this year. It's one of the not so fun parts of being an expat.

For all my fellow BLM's here in the UK, I hope you have a gentle day.